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I'm considering incorporating my Micro ISV (I've determined that a c-corp best suits my needs) and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for the various companies that offer online incorporation services?

Thanks!

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This is not even slightly software / hardware related. –  The How-To Geek Aug 8 '09 at 3:20
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closed as off topic by The How-To Geek Aug 8 '09 at 3:20

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2 Answers

As your profile says USA, just take mine as some advice and now law / certain.

I am in the UK, I went to a proper lawyer to get my company formed, it cost £350 several years ago, it was on recommendation from my accountant.

I have not used that lawyer since as I have not needed to or even seen him.

It was a waste of time and money.

I could of just done it online (which I had no idea about at the time) for around £30 at www.companieshouse.gov.uk

There are many companies out there (Google should return paid for adverts) that will do it for around the same price. Basically, go to a website and fill out some fields and will automatically do the forms for you.

You get the certificate and articles through the post - job done. If I had to do it again, I would go this route.

Unless you have someone in the family who is a lawyer, or you know a good lawyer you use for everything (most family legal people are not trained for commercial law), you are unlikely to see this person again so if I was you, just find the cheapest place that you can find a few reviews for and that give you what you needed, then job done!

Then, after it is formed, get yourself a good accountant that will chase you near due dates e.t.c. - it will save you a lot of trouble later!

(For the UK you need a few documents from a company - memorandum of association, share allocations e.t.c After you have these filed (which they should do for you) companies house allocate a company number and certificate)

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Just Googled using a American proxy so I can get local adverts! Just found this place (along with hundreds of others... I can not vouch for it) instacorp.com/business_structures_explained.htm They state it is $35 plus any state fees... There are hundreds from you to choose from, I would again use whoever is cheapest and you can find reviews for... Pay on a credit card and "if" they turn out to be bad, get a refund, if they turn out to be a scam (unlikly if you find review) get a chargeback. –  William Hilsum Aug 7 '09 at 23:29
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If you're serious about your business, I would network with friends, family anyone you know to find a great attorney. Granted 'great' is a subjective term, shop around and meet with as many as you can and talk to them about your business.

I had my own business once (long time ago in a galaxy far far away..) as an S-corp and having a solid lawyer with general business/entrepreneurship experience was extremely beneficial to me. An online corp will do the paperwork, but when it comes to the real "ins and outs" of running your own business, the more people you can find for advice and pay for services, the more valuable and relevant their experience and information is for you.

A good lawyer will help do the paperwork for you. A great lawyer will help you with the paperwork and other legal advice that you may not have thought of. Depending on the attorney and his/her business, you can barter for business for one another. You can really learn a lot from a legal perspective and general business as well.

An online company will dot all the 'I's and cross all the 'T's but outside of that, they really don't have any added value to you or your business. I was amazed how much I learned just from having a great attorney and even just building that relationship is a great experience and I wouldn't trade it in for a slightly cheaper, online service. Business is about building relationships and having a good attorney can really make a difference in a lot of little ways. Don't discount the little things in business as you'll realize their value just as you need it.

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While I agree with and appreciate your advice, for my purposes I'm looking for a reputable online service. –  Andrew Grant Aug 7 '09 at 22:37
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